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Clin Cancer Res. 2001 Nov;7(11):3375-80.

Phase II trial of cisplatin, interferon alpha-2b, doxorubicin, and 5-fluorouracil for biliary tract cancer.

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Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology and Digestive Diseases, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a chemotherapy combination of cisplatin, IFN alpha-2b, doxorubicin, Adriamycin, and 5-fluorouracil (PIAF) as treatment for radiologically measurable cancer of the biliary tree. Forty-one patients (19 gallbladder carcinoma and 22 cholangiocarcinoma) with unresectable, histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma were registered. Starting chemotherapy doses were as follows: cisplatin, 80 mg/m(2) i.v. over 2 h; doxorubicin, 40 mg/m(2) i.v. over 2 h; and 5-fluorouracil, 500 mg/m(2) by continuous infusion daily for 3 days. IFN alpha-2b (5 x 10(6) units/m(2)) was administered s.c. before the cisplatin and daily thereafter for a total of four doses. The overall response rate was 21.1% [95% confidence interval (CI), 10-37]. For cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder carcinoma patients, the response rates were 9.5% (95% CI, 1-32%) and 35.3% (95% CI, 14-62%), respectively. Overall median survival time was 14 months (95% CI, 9.5-18.5), 18.1 months (95% CI, 12.1-24.1) for the cholangiocarcinoma patients, and 11.5 months (95% CI, 5.9-17.1) for the gallbladder carcinoma patients. This difference was not statistically significant. The most common grade III and IV toxicities were neutropenia (41%), thrombocytopenia (20%), nausea and vomiting (34%), and fatigue (20%). In conclusion, the PIAF combination seemed more active against gallbladder carcinoma than against cholangiocarcinoma but was associated with significant toxicity. Therefore, this regimen cannot be recommended for cholangiocarcinoma, but it may have a role in the treatment of gallbladder carcinoma, particularly among patients who were refractory to higher priority investigational agents.

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